SOURCE: Oxford Biomedica Plc

June 17, 2005 06:35 ET

Oxford Biomedica Plc - Chair Panel at BIO 2005

OXFORD, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 17, 2005 --

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 17 JUNE 2005


 OXFORD BIOMEDICA TO CHAIR GENE AND RNAI DELIVERY PANEL AT THE BIO 2005 ANNUAL
                            INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION

Oxford, UK: 17 June 2005 - Oxford BioMedica (LSE: OXB), the leading gene therapy company, announced today that it will chair and speak in a panel entitled "Novel Delivery Systems for Genes and RNAi" at the BIO 2005 Annual International Convention at 9:30AM (Eastern Time) on Monday, 20 June 2005, in Room 110A/B located in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, USA.

The session will feature panelists from leading experts in the field and will focus on revolutionary technologies for the delivery of genes and RNAi for therapeutics and drug discovery. The panel will discuss proprietary delivery technologies including lentiviral vectors and liposomal systems. Speaker details are below:

Chair:              Peter Nolan, SVP Commercial Development, Oxford BioMedica
Speakers:           Klaus Giese, CSO & VP Research, Atugen
                    Scott Ralph, Senior Scientist, Oxford BioMedica
                    Sara Cunningham, CEO, Benitec
                    Barry Greene, COO, Alnylam
In this panel discussion, Oxford BioMedica will present details on its lentivirus-based gene delivery technology, known as LentiVector, which is one of the most powerful technologies for the delivery of genes and RNAi to a wide range of cell and tissue types. The LentiVector technology has applications both in therapeutic products and as a drug discovery tool for target validation and the creation of targeted disease models. It has also been shown to enhance the efficiency of making transgenic birds and mammals. Oxford BioMedica has a comprehensive portfolio of US and European patents that cover the LentiVector technology.

Commenting on the upcoming Breakout Session at BIO 2005, Oxford BioMedica's Senior Vice President Commercial Development, Peter Nolan, said: "We look forward to showcasing our LentiVector technology at this unparalleled international event. An increasing number of companies are using the LentiVector technology, which is becoming the system of choice for gene target validation in the drug discovery process as well as for direct therapeutic applications".

Oxford BioMedica representatives will be available at exhibit booth #2311. For more information on BIO 2005, please visit www.bio.org.


                                     -Ends-

For further information, please contact:

Oxford BioMedica plc:
Professor Alan Kingsman, Chief Executive                Tel: +44 (0)1865 783 000
Peter Nolan, SVP Commercial Development

City/Financial Enquiries:
Lisa Baderoon/ Mark Court/ Mary-Jane Johnson Buchanan   Tel: +44 (0)20 7466 5000
Communications

Scientific/Trade Press Enquiries:
Sue Charles/ Katja Stout/ Ashley Lilly                  Tel: +44 (0)20 7886 8150
Northbank Communications

Notes to editors

1. Oxford BioMedica

Oxford BioMedica (LSE: OXB) is a biopharmaceutical company specialising in the development of novel gene-based therapeutics with a focus on the areas of oncology and neurotherapy. The Company was established in 1995 as a spin out from Oxford University, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Oxford BioMedica has core expertise in gene delivery, as well as in-house clinical, regulatory and manufacturing know-how. In oncology, the pipeline includes an immunotherapy and a gene therapy in multiple Phase II trials, and a preclinical targeted antibody therapy in collaboration with Wyeth. In neurotherapy, the Company's lead product is a gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, which is expected to enter clinical trials in early 2006, and four further preclinical candidates. The Company is underpinned by over 80 patent families, which represent one of the broadest patent estates in the field.

The Company has a staff of approximately 65 split between its main facilities in Oxford and its wholly owned subsidiary, BioMedica Inc, in San Diego, California. Oxford BioMedica has corporate collaborations with Wyeth, Intervet, Amersham, Viragen, MolMed and Kiadis; and has licensed technology to a number of companies including Merck & Co, Biogen Idec and Pfizer.

Further information is available at http://www.oxfordbiomedica.co.uk

2. LentiVector technology

Oxford BioMedica's LentiVector gene delivery technology, based on lentiviruses, is arguably the most potent system currently available for treating a range of diseases, particularly those of the central nervous system. Oxford BioMedica has shown that its lentiviral vectors are able to deliver genes and RNAi with high efficiency to a variety of both dividing and non-dividing cells, including neurons in the brain.

Oxford BioMedica has three issued US patents and a European patent for its LentiVector technology. These include broad composition of matter claims and methods of production claims for lentiviral vector gene delivery systems of both human and non-human origin. The patents also cover derivatives of lentiviral vector systems that, unlike many versions of lentiviral vectors, have real clinical utility because of their safety.

The Company has established a neurotherapy pipeline of product candidates based on its LentiVector technology, which includes ProSavin® for Parkinson's disease, RetinoStat® for retinopathy, MoNudin® for motor neuron disease, SMN1-G for spinal muscular atrophy and Innurex® for nerve repair. Current licensees of the LentiVector technology include Merck & Co, Biogen Idec and Pfizer.

3. RNA interference

RNA interference (RNAi) is a novel method of gene silencing. RNAi may offer a new approach for effective target validation in drug discovery and for the development of novel therapeutics. The discovery of RNAi is potentially a major breakthrough since it enables specific gene targeting "upstream" of protein synthesis at the cellular level. Genes provide cells with the instructions for making proteins, and when a gene is silenced, the cell stops making the protein specified by that gene. One of the challenges for the development of RNAi approaches is effective delivery, which can be addressed using viral delivery systems such as Oxford BioMedica's LentiVector technology.


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